Former UK minister opposes negative article on Azerbaijan
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 22
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
Charles Hendry, former UK minister of energy, former prime minister’s trade envoy to
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, declaimed against the negative article about Azerbaijan published by Financial Times (FT).
“I do not recognize Nick Butler’s article on Azerbaijan published on September 19,” said Hendry’s letter entitled ‘Commercial opportunities abound in Azerbaijan’ published in FT.
“I first went to Azerbaijan five years ago as energy minister and have subsequently visited on numerous occasions as the prime minister’s trade envoy until last year,” Hendry said.
“BP and other energy groups were attracted there because Azerbaijan offered a transparent fair regime,” he said.
“Azerbaijan introduced production sharing agreements that it has adhered to throughout the years when other regimes have failed to do so,” the author said.
“It is an Azerbaijani approach to attracting foreign investment that other countries could sensibly follow,” the author added.
“Azerbaijan is a young country and no one would pretend that it has not got changes to make,” he said.
“But Mr Butler’s article comes at a time when the government is introducing reforms to clamp down on bureaucracy and corruption to keep its movement up the table of the World’s Bank “ease of doing business” rankings,” he added. “Azerbaijan is rated one of the best countries in the world for the ease of opening a business.”
The author said that the best advice for Mr Butler is to go and visit Azerbaijan and judge which one of us is right.